What did I see when my eyes finally adjusted to the light outside the pit of despair? Well, first I saw that the storm clouds of doom had passed as finals had been marked and grades posted. Then I saw that the train wreck of good intentions had slowed down - one sweater had been completed, the second lacked only the sleeves. I also began to see my way out of the organization muddle.
I will create a single OneNote digital notebook called "Amanda's Ancestors." I think it has a nice ring to it, don't you? Within Amanda's Ancestor's will be a section for each surname, and within each section as many pages as needed. If Microsoft imposes a limit on sections and pages, I might just find out what it is.
I will maintain my own filing system created while doing my PhD. There is nothing wrong with it, it works for me, and I'm used to it. Here's a summary of the system: Book and Article notes are placed in folders called "Book Notes" and named in the format Author - Date - Title. Manuscript notes are filed in a folder called "Manuscript Notes" and are filed by the call number in their repositories. The few census records I have copied from Ancestry are filed by county and township. Since my PhD dissertation was about an entire community, this worked well because everyone lived in the same five or six townships. I think this filing system will still work for my family research because many of my lines are all from the same counties, whether in the US or in Europe. The one section that needs work is photographs and I liked Lisa Louise Cooke's ideas for that. You can listen to them here and here.
For my family history project, I can copy pertinent information to the relevant OneNote sections and pages. For example, the page from the 1910 Bradley County Census with my grandfather's family on it can be copied to his page (and to his father's and mother's page) in the Amanda's Ancestors Notebook.
Things are looking up in the organization department. Now that the presents have been opened and the family has departed I can turn my mind to sorting through the real folders full of miscellaneous papers and contemplate research questions. I should probably also knit some sleeves.